Settled by English immigrants in the 1850s, the city has a distinctively English feel to it, shown through the architecture and beautiful gardens.
Christchurch boasts large and plentiful parks and established gardens, including the 161-hectare Hagley Park in the centre of the city. The Ellerslie International Flower Show is held every March, showcasing horticultural and flower events over 5 days.
A city in flux
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, the second largest in the country. Located on the east coast, north of Banks Peninsula and 363km north of Dunedin. With a population of around 370,000 people, Christchurch is one of New Zealand's larger cities. The Avon River winds its way through the city centre and is flanked by attractive gardens.
Repeated earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 have damaged a great deal of the central and eastern suburbs of Christchurch. The city is currently undergoing intensive rebuilding and earthquake proofing.
Canterbury encompasses the Southern Alps, including the Aroaki Mount Cook National Park and the Mount Hutt ski area, up to the hot pools of Hanmer Spring and the whale watching town of Kaikoura to the north. To the east of the city on Banks Peninsula is the French-inspired settlement of Akaroa.
A wide range of outdoor activities, beaches and wineries are in the area for escapes from city life.